Lonnie writes in:
I have two questions: First, what kind of help are you requesting for your new video? I’d like to be involved.
That’s easy. Since there have already been several TAPAs, I got the idea that we could all be TAPA. So, I’m asking a bunch of readers/listeners to record themselves giving the Kickstarter pitch.
Whether you do it on your cell phone or your Blackmagic Cinema Camera (which I know some of you bought on Amazon last summer), it doesn’t matter. It’ll be a kind of crowd-sourced video. Plus, you’ll be helping to get Crew Call Season 2 off the ground!
Second…I’m new-ish to this field. Started out doing quite a bit of work with some documentary film projects, I’m still doing those jobs, but also doing work with local TV stations. I moved to the SF Bay Area a couple of years ago, prior to that, I lived in a town with almost no opportunities to work in film. Anyway…my question…I am volunteering and doing freelance work, but I’ve been wondering if I should consider taking a PA bootcamp or training course. Are they worth the money…do they help PAs find work…and if so, which one(s) do you recommend?
Previous TAPAs have had some negative experiences with PA Bootcamps in the past. I’m a bit more ambivalent. I think there is some value in education, especially for people who prefer to learn in a structured environment.
But if you already have as much experience as Lonnie, you pretty much already know everything there is to know about PAing. At least, everything they could teach you in a weekend bootcamp.
The various bootcamps claim they can help you find work, but I honestly have difficulty believing that. The student-teacher ratio is something like a dozen to one, and some of them offer courses every single weekend. Even though most of the instructors are working ADs, there simply aren’t enough PA gigs to offer to that many students. Sure, the instructors know other ADs, as well, but again, their network can stretch only so far.
On the other hand, if you’re new in town or a recent graduate, that’s more of a network than you have right now.
Maybe someone who’s been to one of these camps could enlighten me in the comments as to what they do to help?
And, let’s not forget, you’re not just networking with the instructors. You’re meeting fellow PAs, as well. Networking with your peer group is vital, if you want your career to last.
Of course, you could network with your peer group for free at the next TAPArty (announcement coming soon).
I won’t recommend a specific bootcamp, because I’ve never been to one. (I didn’t know they existed when I started out.) But I will say, with a decent resume and some connections (like Lonnie should have formed working for free), I think most bootcamps would agree that you’re already as prepared as one can be.